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Epistemic IndefinitesExploring Modality Beyond the Verbal Domain$
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Luis Alonso-Ovalle and Paula Menéndez-Benito

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199665297

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199665297.001.0001

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Sinhala epistemic indefinites with a certain je ne sais quoi

Sinhala epistemic indefinites with a certain je ne sais quoi

(p.82) 4 Sinhala epistemic indefinites with a certain je ne sais quoi
Epistemic Indefinites

Benjamin Slade

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on the examination of the properties of epistemic indefinites in Sinhala, with comparison to other languages, including English and Hindi. In particular, attention is placed on the determination of the felicity conditions for the two morphologically- and pragmatically-distinct Sinhala epistemic indefinites: WH+ and WH+hari, with a concentration on the (un)availability of identification methods associated with particular epistemic indefinites. Also examined are English some NP and some NP or other, which likewise differ in their felicity conditions. The analysis of the Sinhala data is complicated by the appearance of the Q-particles and hari in other syntactic constructions (questions, disjunctions). The variety of morphosyntactic devices presented cross-linguistically (e.g. Q-particles, determiners, reduplication) raises the question of whether a unified semantic approach to epistemic indefinites is feasible.

Keywords:   epistemic indefinites, Sinhala, English, Hindi, Q-particles

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